(Above image, ‘Beau’ by Laura Jayne Fisk)
Suffolk-based illustrator, Laura Jayne Fisk, tells EAUX about juggling work and motherhood, her love of cows, and her new range of home accessories, ‘Country Beau’
You studied at the London College of Fashion – what made you leave the city to come to Suffolk?
Being Suffolk born and bred, there was never any doubt that I would return to work and raise a family here. After completing my degree in Makeup and Hair for Performing Arts, I worked for some time on various musicals in the West End and for the BBC. However, the draw (excuse the pun) of country living, green fields and village pubs was just too much so I returned home to Suffolk to become an Art teacher.
Why did you choose wildlife as your subject matter?
I find that capturing the essence of country animals comes naturally to me. I enjoy creating a sense of character with each of my illustrations. I also think my style of drawing really suits the movement
and form of the wildlife that surrounds me. My favourite animal to illustrate has got to be cows! They are so full of character and thought; they’re able to pull off that soft and gentle demeanour with just a hint of beast!
Which mediums do you prefer to work in, and why?
I would always choose to work in graphite; its softness and flexibility in tone best suits my style of drawing. Occasionally I will dabble with colour or pen and ink depending, of course, on the subject matter.
do you think about your art from a commercial point of view, or does your style come to you organically?
I never set out to become a commercial artist. The direction in which my work has taken me has naturally led me to create a range of homeware featuring my most liked illustrations.
I also produce commissions and, however corny it sounds, drawing something that means so much to the individual is very rewarding. It’s always nice to do some a little different, forcing me to come out of my comfort zone!
Which artists inspire you?
Albrecht Durer – a 15th century painter and printmaker. His animal studies vary from the realistic to the stylistic. I would like to think that my work sits somewhere in between.
As long as I can remember, working in the creative industry has been all that I have ever wanted to do; however, it wasn’t until I sold my first drawing (a cow!) that I actually saw myself as an artist.
Now that my husband has lost half of his garage to me – and realises that this is not just a ‘hobby’ – I am starting to invest more time into social media to develop my business. This has allowed me to build relationships with lots of gorgeous local outlets that now stock my products.
Can you tell us a bit about your new range, Country Beau?
Country Beau is a luxury range of home accessories that I am currently working on. I am bringing together some of my most loved illustrations, and printing them onto beautiful fabrics and bone china, with the majority printed in Suffolk and all made in England. The range features cushions, table and kitchenware, and much more, giving clients the opportunity to have a slice of stylish Suffolk Country in their own homes.
To browse Country Beau and other collections by Laura Jayne Fisk, visit www.laurajaynefisk.co.uk